Support to Territorial and Administrative Reform

What is the programme about?

Administrative Map of Albania
Administrative Map of Albania

The Government of Albania is committed to undertake a comprehensive administrative and territorial reform ahead of the local elections scheduled for mid-2015. The relatively high number and small size of most local government units in a country with a relatively small area coupled with concerns of efficiency and quality of service provision has increasingly been considered as a serious obstacle to local governance and development. The need for territorial and administrative review and consolidation of local government units has emerged in national policy debates since early 2003 and the importance of its considerations have been growing increasingly as a necessity to change the pace and quality of local development and strengthening of public administration.

Such developmental and governance concerns have found a central place in the program of the new Government, with a full understanding that the reform would be critical for reviewing and improving institutional capacities and fiscal systems in place and making them more efficient and responsive to development and further decentralization challenges.

The current Government program explicitly states the purpose and the broad participation approach required for a successful and consensual outcome: “The reform shall go through an open and all-inclusive process that will involve all the political factors in the country, the local communities, civil society and international partners. This reform shall be conceived and implemented in line with the best practices applied by the EU countries in this area. The reform in itself will intend to enhance efficiency and quality of access to the local public services for the citizens, to increase financial means and resources for the local government units, improve the mechanisms of representative democracy and the strengthen the instruments of direct democracy. Further, it will increase the capacities of public local government administration and will strengthen community structures at the level of local government unit, neighborhood and village.”

The envisaged reform process pays special importance to seeking cross-partisan understanding and building alliances consensus as well as wide public consultations. The process welcomes within a given time period local solutions for voluntary mergers to ease decision making. This approach is based on the understanding that local governments should be involved as early in the process as possible in order to avoid resistance later and at the same time promote practical and realistic solutions.

The   aim of the present project is to provide coherent operational and logistic support to the Minister of Local Issues - the central institution made responsible for the development of the reform - through a flexible multi-source pool funding and management mechanism under UNDP Albania to facilitate the mobilization of the necessary/temporary human resources and the logistics required. The present project is based on this arrangement and largely depends on international partners’ support and collaboration.

What have we accomplished so far?


1.     Recruitment of staff pertaining to the Technical Secretariat for the reform, working with and under the supervision of the Minister of Local Issues

 2.     Provision of some initial basic office equipment and logistics for the Technical Secretariat and the staff dedicated to the reform process implementation

Who finances it?

A pool of donors is already contributing to the programme, while some additional prospective ones are expected to join in the near future.

 The current contributors are:

·          SIDA                                                             $746,837

·          USAID                                                          $300,000

·          Swiss Development Cooperation              $300,000

·          UNDP                                                            $100,000


Year Total
2013 USD 2500
Programme Duration
December 2013 – June 2015
Geographic Coverage
Programme Officer
Vladimir Malkaj
Minister of Local Issues. Implementing partner